How Notorious Armed Robber, Lawrence Anini Was Caught

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Born in 1960 in Bazahu village near Benin City, Anini moved to the city at a young age to learn to drive. He quickly mastered driving and became a taxi driver, gaining influence among other drivers and touts. His physical strength and ability to suppress challenges made him a respected figure. However, Anini was not content with controlling the garage gangs and decided to use his skills for robbery.

Anini formed a gang that included notorious members like Monday Osunbor, a skilled driver who could escape police by driving in reverse for long distances. The gang started by hijacking cars and taxis and occasionally robbing banks in Benin City. Over time, Anini expanded his operations throughout the city and the state of Edo.

His name alone could cause panic among people. Anini’s criminal activities included stealing from commercial buses, carjacking, and violent bank robberies. His mere presence signaled danger, crime, and often death. A myth surrounded Anini, suggesting he had mysterious powers that made him invisible to the police, which helped him evade capture for a long time.

Many believed in this myth, thinking Anini was unstoppable and that only divine intervention could bring him to justice. This belief was reinforced by the corruption within the police force. Senior officers, including the commissioner of police, were involved in corrupt activities, taking bribes from Anini and ignoring his crimes. This corruption allowed Anini to continue his criminal activities without fear of arrest.

Anini created a powerful and enigmatic image of himself. The police saw him as a source of money rather than a criminal to be caught. One of Anini’s tricks to evade capture during robberies was to throw money into the air, causing a distraction as people scrambled to collect the bills. This tactic, reminiscent of the legendary Robin Hood, effectively diverted attention and allowed Anini to escape.

In October 1986, Anini’s gang attempted to assassinate a senior police officer, Assistant Inspector General of Police Christopher Omeben. Although Omeben survived, this attack intensified the manhunt for Anini. During this period, several members of Anini’s gang were arrested, providing critical intelligence to the police. Notably, Anini’s second-in-command, Monday Osunbor, was captured and revealed vital details about the gang’s operations and hideouts under interrogation.

The breakthrough came on December 3, 1986, when Anini was located in a house in Benin City. Acting on a tip-off, the police surrounded the building and engaged in a gun battle with Anini. Despite being heavily armed, Anini was shot in the leg during the exchange, which incapacitated him and led to his arrest. His capture marked the end of a violent era and was widely celebrated across Nigeria.

After his arrest, Anini was tried and found guilty of multiple charges, including armed robbery and murder. He was sentenced to death and executed by firing squad in March 1987…………..Fínd Out Móre

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